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From the Archives : Originally published May 20th, 2016
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Category : Today's Editorial

Disregard disease – Ebola, Zika and whatever else is cooking out there. Things like - rising sea levels, global shortages of fresh water, simmering religious tensions, the potential for wars over mineral resources and what a higher gold price means. Disregard financial calamity, malfunctioning governments and lying sleazebag politicians leading us down the garden path.

Forget about climate change, somebody else can deal with it. Is it to be inflation, disinflation, deflation or stagflation? Is ‘the Donald’ going to be the next U.S. president? Or is the hawk, disguised as a dove Clinton, the next president? Will the Fed speed up its interest rate increases? Lead in the water, fracking. Ozone depletion, species extinction, population (out of) control.

The herd’s got other things on its mind. Red necks, who can pee where, who Blake Sheldon is cheating on with.

Maybe the following will wake the herd up. It’s only the best reason (other than either Hillary or Donald being president of the United States) any of us has ever heard for owning some gold and silver bullion in an easily accessible stash. It’s something so devastating, so cataclysmic, so life changing, so unstoppable that the only way to survive the resulting wasteland would be to own precious metals and guns. Something so indefensible against, something so game changing that I’m talking about each and everyone one of us on this planet taking a forced trip back in time.

“Extreme solar storms pose a threat to all forms of high-technology. They begin with an explosion--a "solar flare"—in the magnetic canopy of a sunspot. X-rays and extreme UV radiation reach Earth at light speed, ionizing the upper layers of our atmosphere; side-effects of this "solar EMP" include radio blackouts and GPS navigation errors. Minutes to hours later, the energetic particles arrive. Moving only slightly slower than light itself, electrons and protons accelerated by the blast can electrify satellites and damage their electronics. Then come the CMEs, billion-ton clouds of magnetized plasma that take a day or more to cross the Sun-Earth divide.“NASA Science

Every second, the Sun shoots bursts of charged subatomic particles, in the form of solar wind, into space at speeds of 1 million miles per hour.

Typically, the solar wind is weak enough that Earth’s magnetic field deflects most of it, like in the NASA illustration below:

However, if an especially powerful barrage heads our way, it could easily penetrate our magnetic field, fry our electric power systems, and kick us back into the dark ages – all within a matter of hours.

On July 23 2012, the sun unleashed a massive cloud of plasma. The plasma cloud, known as a coronal mass ejection (CME), comprised a solar storm thought to be the most powerful in at least 150 years. This plasma cloud exploded from the sun and headed straight through Earth’s orbit - and missed us by a week! Yep, if it had happened just a week before the plasma cloud would have had a catastrophic encounter with Earth’s atmosphere.

“The consequences could be devastating for commerce, transportation, agriculture and food stocks, fuel and water supplies, human health and medical facilities, national security, and daily life in general.” Steve Tracton, Capital Weather Gang

The event on July 23, 2012 was a ‘perfect storm.’ A couple of much smaller previous solar storms had cleared the way, no interference would have weakened its power, it was lined up exactly opposite the orientation of Earth’s protector, our magnetic field. All that power would have had not only a cleared out path straight at us but would have slammed into us with our defenses out of alignment to the storm and not giving us anywhere near maximum protection.

Fortunately, the point of eruption on the sun wasn’t Earth-facing.

“I have come away from our recent studies more convinced than ever that Earth and its inhabitants were incredibly fortunate that the 2012 eruption happened when it did. If the eruption had occurred only one week earlier, Earth would have been in the line of fire.” physicist Daniel Baker, University of Colorado

According to a study by the National Academy of Sciences, the cloud could have knocked out electrical and communication grids causing more than $2 trillion in damage globally. NASA said anything that plugs into a wall socket or electrical outlet could have been disabled – and since everything we use is, somewhere along the line of its existence, eventually plugged in…well you get the idea.

“Geomagnetic storms can induce geo-electric fields in the Earth’s crust, driving electric currents in long conductors on or near the Earth’s surface. These induced geo-electric fields present a risk to the reliable operation of electric power systems and may affect gas and oil pipelines, railways, and other infrastructures that have long conductive paths.

Ionospheric disturbances can adversely affect radio signals that propagate through the upper atmosphere, disrupting communication, navigation, and surveillance capabilities over wide areas on timescales ranging from minutes to hours.

High-frequency radio signals, which are used for airline, maritime, and emergency communications, are particularly susceptible to ionospheric disturbances.

Solar Radio Bursts (SRBs)are radio wave emissions from the sun that can interfere with radar, communication, and tracking signals.

Upper-atmospheric expansion describes an increase in the temperature and density of the Earth’s upper atmosphere. This change is driven by solar activity and can have a direct impact on low-Earth orbit (LEO) spacecraft that are susceptible to the effects of atmospheric drag.  Increased drag can pull satellites closer to Earth, changing their orbit, decreasing the lifespan of space assets, and making satellite tracking difficult.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) has to re-identify hundreds of objects and record their new orbits after a large solar storm event. During the March 1989 storm event, for example, the NASA's Solar Maximum Mission (SMM) spacecraft was reported to have "dropped as if it hit a brick wall" due to the increased atmospheric drag.”

Maybe we’re without our electrical and communications grids for years – think about that, think about facing, think about living without electricity for an extended indefinite period of time. You’ve just been knocked back to a pre-electric age and your ticket ‘back to the future’ does not have a departure time/date stamp.


Carrington vs Quebec

Is this science fiction? Perhaps some chicken littleism on my part?

Sorry but no, solar physicists have compared the 2012 storm that missed us to the Carrington solar storm of September 1859, a storm that didn’t miss us and was named after Richard Carrington who documented the event.

A space storm's impact is measured in nano-Teslas (nT) - the lower the figure, the more powerful the storm. A moderate storm is around -100 nT; extreme storms log in around -300 nT.

The Carrington solar storm was three times more powerful than the strongest space storm in modern memory - the one that cut power to an entire Canadian province, Quebec, in 1989.

“On Friday March 10, 1989 astronomers witnessed a powerful explosion on the sun. Within minutes, tangled magnetic forces on the sun had released a billion-ton cloud of gas. It was like the energy of thousands of nuclear bombs exploding at the same time. The storm cloud rushed out from the sun, straight towards Earth, at a million miles an hour. The solar flare that accompanied the outburst immediately caused short-wave radio interference

On the evening of Monday, March 12 the vast cloud of solar plasma (a gas of electrically charged particles) finally struck Earth's magnetic field. The violence of this 'geomagnetic storm' caused spectacular 'northern lights' that could be seen as far south as Florida and Cuba. The magnetic disturbance was incredibly intense. It actually created electrical currents in the ground beneath much of North America. Just after 2:44 a.m. on March 13, the currents found a weakness in the electrical power grid of Quebec. In less than 2 minutes, the entire Quebec power grid lost power. During the 12-hour blackout that followed, millions of people suddenly found themselves in dark office buildings and underground pedestrian tunnels, and in stalled elevators. Most people woke up to cold homes for breakfast. The blackout also closed schools and businesses, kept the Montreal Metro shut during the morning rush hour, and closed Dorval Airport.

The Quebec Blackout was by no means a local event. Some of the U.S. electrical utilities had their own cliffhanger problems to deal with. New York Power lost 150 megawatts the moment the Quebec power grid went down. The New England Power Pool lost 1,410 megawatts at about the same time. Service to 96 electrical utilities in New England was interrupted while other reserves of electrical power were brought online. Luckily, the U.S. had the power to spare at the time…but just barely. Across the United States from coast to coast, over 200 power grid problems erupted within minutes of the start of the March 13 storm. Fortunately none of these caused a blackout.

In space, some satellites actually tumbled out of control for several hours. NASA's TDRS-1 communication satellite recorded over 250 anomalies as high-energy particles invaded the satellite's sensitive electronics. Even the Space Shuttle Discovery was having its own mysterious problems. A sensor on one of the tanks supplying hydrogen to a fuel cell was showing unusually high pressure readings on March 13. The problem went away just as mysteriously after the solar storm subsided.

Twenty years later, the March 1989 'Quebec Blackout' has reached legendary stature, at least among electrical engineers and space scientists. It is a dramatic example of how solar storms can affect us even here on the ground. Fortunately, storms as powerful as this are rather rare. It takes quite a solar wallop to cause anything like the conditions leading up to a Quebec-style blackout. Typical solar activity 'sunspot' cycles can produce least two or three large storms, so it really is just a matter of chance whether one will cause a blackout or not. As it is for hurricanes and tornadoes, the more we can learn about the sun's 'space weather,' the better we can prepare for the next storm when it arrives!” Dr. Sten Odenwald, NASA Astronomer


The 1989 coronal mass ejection that centered on Quebec measured -589 nT.

Carrington’s 1859 solar storm was estimated to have been -1,760 nT.

Some believe the July 23, 2012 ‘perfect storm,’ the one that thankfully missed, was as powerful as Carrington’s in 1859.

In the 1859 event global telegraph lines sparked and shorted out, setting fire to telegraph offices in Europe and the U.S. knocking out the entire existing global communication network.

We’re as completely unprepared, and our much more delicate electronics are even more exposed and unprotected today then the wiring of our early communication grid 155 years ago. It doesn’t take much of an imagination to figure out what would happen to today’s modern electronics if an event of such magnitude were to hit us again.

“An extreme space weather storm — a solar superstorm — is a low-probability, high-consequence event that poses severe threats to critical infrastructures of the modern society. The cost of an extreme space weather event, if it hits Earth, could reach trillions of dollars with a potential recovery time of 4-10 years. Therefore, it is paramount to the security and economic interest of the modern society to understand solar superstorms.”  research physicist Ying D. Liu, China’s State Key Laboratory of Space


What’s the chances of a Carrington magnitude event hitting us over the next decade or so? I’m going to leave you with the following…

“In February 2014, physicist Pete Riley of Predictive Science Inc. published a paper in Space Weather entitled "On the probability of occurrence of extreme space weather events."  In it, he analyzed records of solar storms going back 50+ years.  By extrapolating the frequency of ordinary storms to the extreme, he calculated the odds that a Carrington-class storm would hit Earth in the next ten years. The answer: 12%.” Pete Riley, Predictive Science, ‘On the probability of occurrence of extreme space weather events’


Herd I want a divorce, you go live your little doggie like life style - if you can’t eat it, sleep on it, piss on it or screw it, ignore it. I’m a boy scout, I believe in being prepared.

Frightening odds, consequences, a little common sense preparation and precious metals are all on my radar screen. You need to put them on yours.

Are they?

If not, they should be.

Richard lives with his family on a 160 acre ranch in northern British Columbia. He invests in the resource and biotechnology/pharmaceutical sectors and is the owner of

Richard’s articles have been published on over 400 websites, including:

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Legal Notice / Disclaimer

This document is not and should not be construed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase or subscribe for any investment.

Richard Mills has based this document on information obtained from sources he believes to be reliable but which has not been independently verified.

Richard Mills makes no guarantee, representation or warranty and accepts no responsibility or liability as to its accuracy or completeness. Expressions of opinion are those of Richard Mills only and are subject to change without notice. Richard Mills assumes no warranty, liability or guarantee for the current relevance, correctness or completeness of any information provided within this Report and will not be held liable for the consequence of reliance upon any opinion or statement contained herein or any omission.

Furthermore, I, Richard Mills, assume no liability for any direct or indirect loss or damage or, in particular, for lost profit, which you may incur as a result of the use and existence of the information provided within this Report.


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Richard is host of and invests in the junior resource sector. His articles have been published on over 60 websites including - Wall Street Journal, 24hGold, Kitco, USAToday, Safehaven, SeekingAlpha, The Gold/Energy Reports, Gold-Eagle and Financial Sense. If you're interested in learning more about the junior resource sector, bio-tech and technology sectors please visit his site at Site membership and our AOTH newsletter are free. No credit card or personal information is asked for.
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